Thursday, March 23, 2006

In an article on university courses, I read feminists were demanding a full degree course in Gender Studies, rather than merely its inclusion as part of others. As far as I can recall, this is the first time I’ve come across a reference to feminists in over 5 years in Spain. I certainly haven’t seen any evidence of them protesting, as a group, on issues such as the stereotyping of women or the permissive attitude to prostitution. On the latter, my daughter tells me this is no longer confined to nocturnal hours in the infamous Casa de Campo park in Madrid. A family outing on Sunday, she assures me, can now take in the sight of semi and even totally naked women. I would have checked this out last Sunday but Ryan is easily embarrassed.

In a conversation with Spanish friends the other day, I was assured no Spaniard would either offer or demand petrol money where someone was acting as a chauffeur for a friend, even for a long journey. This was seen as very commercial and Anglo-Saxon. I pointed out that – as we tend to move away from our place of birth and from family and early friends – we don’t operate on the basis of a life-long ‘favour bank’. The Spanish, on the other hand, seem to do everything for free for their friends, including providing legal advice and medical/dental attention. Though I suspect things are different in Madrid and Barcelona, because of greater fluidity. No point doing huge favours for people you might never see again!

Here’s a coded message for those thinking of visiting Galicia in the spring - After the last week or so, I doubt we’ll be having water restrictions this summer. And it’s a good job we’re attached to the rest of Spain.

And here’s a provocative statement – One defining characteristic of the Spanish is that they haven’t the slightest concern about anyone overhearing every word of their conversation. That said, the level of ambient noise is so great this is usually impossible anyway. Strength in numbers. Or privacy, at least.

1 comment:

acedre said...

Gustame o que dis.
A verdade e que na cultura latina non se piden cartos por levar a un no coche mentres o asunto non sexa rotinario, claro.
Os galegos falamos alto pero os madrilenhos falan mais alto e os ingleses e norteamericanos falan baixinho e educadamente. Os finlandeses son os que menos falan; nin alto volume nin baixo volume.
Un saudo e comparto a tua ledicia co alto o fogo permanente da ETA.